How the pandemic invented a new category at the CMT Awards

The entertainment industry has proven once again that it can adapt to the coronavirus pandemic. Case in point: Days before the 2020 CMT Music Awards on Oct. 21, Country Music Television announced the creation of a brand new category thanks to COVID-19. The new category, “Quarantine Video of the Year,” highlights videos made during the coronavirus pandemic. The 10 nominees range from fully-produced, socially-distanced videos to at-home parodies.

The nominees include Big & Rich, Brad Paisley, Carly Pearce, Charlie Worsham, and Dave Haywood and Kelli Cashiola for their coronavirus-inspired song, “Just Another Day in Quarantine.” The other nominees are Dolly Parton, Granger Smith, Luke Combs, Tenille Townes and friends, and Thomas Rhett for “Be A Light,” which features videos from fans.

But the new category is not the only different thing about the CMT Music Awards in 2020 — keep reading to find out how the show won’t be the same as before.

The CMT Awards has embraced change

The CMT Music Awards was originally scheduled for June 3, 2020, but it got pushed back for two reasons: The ongoing coronavirus pandemic and the damage caused by a tornado that hit Nashville in March 2020, an event that killed 20 people, according to Us Weekly.

As for the location, the show is not taking place at its usual hosting grounds, the Bridgestone Arena. Instead, awards will be presented and artists will perform across a range of popular outdoor spaces in Tennessee: Ruskin Cave in Dickson County, Sycamore Farms in Arrington, and the Estate at Cherokee Dock, a Wilson County estate which served as Reba McEntire’s former home, as noted by The Tennessean. Oh, and did we mention the event will have three co-hosts? Sarah Hyland, Kane Brown, and Ashley McBryde will headline the event.

Despite these changes, the show is still slated to be a star-studded event, with performances from country superstars such as Luke Bryan, Sam Hunt, Maren Morris, and Shania Twain, who has not performed at the award show since 2011, per Rolling Stone. Special appearances will be made by Taylor Swift, Demi Lovato, Diplo, Idina Menzel, and more. “Between our hosts and our all-star lineup of presenters, this year’s show promises to deliver one-of-a-kind performances and appearances from the year’s biggest stars at a time when we all could use an extraordinary night of fantastic music,” according to a press release obtained by Entertainment Tonight.

Fans can catch the 2020 CMT Music Awards live on October 21.

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